Events

A Year of Lockdown

Social Distancing Project 211

A notice on this shrine says:
“Dedicated to the victims of coronavirus and the healthcare professionals who are risking their lives while supporting other people”.

The Distance Project 27

A year since the lockdown started, the Milton Keynes Peace Pagoda held two very minimal ceremonies on Tuesday to mark the date.

The ceremonies were part of a National Day of Reflection that took place all over the UK.

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Late to the Party

Clown costume

 

The Barrel Bikers, a local motorcycle club, usually have a Christmas party every year. It’s always held after Christmas, on a Saturday near the beginning of February. This doesn’t stop them giving out raffle prizes wrapped in Christmas paper!

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Distance Project 22

Social Distancing Project 180On the last day before the second lockdown, I found some of Bucks County Council’s signs in Buckingham. It’s difficult to keep your distance in some parts of this town, where the pavements are extremely narrow and the roads are often too busy to step into. This is West Street.

 

No Armistice in Sight For Covid.

After a hopeful Summer, we headed back towards a stricter regime. Bucks County Council were concerned enough to take action in October, sending out letters to householders and erecting signs warning about the increasing number of infections.

They were right to be concerned, as the number of cases in the UK had taken off in mid September, followed not long after by the number of deaths. The Government had to do something, and the second lockdown began on the 5th of November, to run for four weeks.

This meant that the Armistice Day ceremonies, planned to be held in a limited fashion, could not go ahead as usual on the 11th November. But I took a walk via the local war memorial on the day.

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The Distance Project 20

Social Distancing Project 168In the warmer months when we were allowed to meet in each other’s back gardens, my brother and his family would visit me once a week. You can see the project photo here. But now the evenings are darker and colder that’s not so practical or pleasant.

The Autumn weather is probably one reason the rules were changed, so that we could meet up in each other’s homes. Here, the two boys are back at university so there’s just the three of us, but now I go to my brother’s house; my place isn’t quite right for remaining socially distanced. Before Covid-19, we would sit close together on these two settees.

 

Interactions

There’s no sign of the lockdown going away; in fact it’s been tightened in some areas, though here in Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire we are still at the lowest level of restrictions. Let’s hope it stays that way.

For a long time, for months and months, I did not go into anybody else’s home. I was slow to change, and it was some time after we were officially permitted to visit other people inside their homes that I started doing so.

So far I’ve been into three other people’s houses. I’m due to visit a couple more this week, but that will probably be it, for now.

I’ve been to the pub a couple of times, The Barley Mow at Cosgrove. Though I got some good shots for the project, the pub is in Northamptonshire so I can’t show you them here.

But how do I feel about the lockdown?

 

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The Distance Project 18

Social Distancing Project 154In the church hall at Little Horwood, the sub-postmaster from Deanshanger provides a post office service for a few hours, one day a week. The table helps to ensure customers stay back, and provides a place for them to use the card reader while still keeping their distance.

Carrying on With the New Normal

Here’s a few Distance Project photos from a month or two ago that I haven’t shown you before. The first two are from Little Horwood, and the others are from Winslow. I’ve shown you photos from both places before, but these were all taken on a later date.

As the lockdown rules change, behaviour has changed. As I wrote this, I heard on the radio that the government are considering stricter lockdown rules. They say they want to prevent a second wave.

Just when I thought I would soon be running out of things to photograph for this project, it looks like there will be more to come. I didn’t think the pandemic would last this long, and I’d rather photograph something else now. But I have to carry on.

My other photos from the Distance Project can all be found here. The project is to photograph what people are doing differently under lockdown.

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